Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
So, I have to admit, I read this book solely because of that title. I saw it and was like "Whoa, that is pretty interesting! Under The Never Sky.. Hmm... Wonder what that means?"
I didn't even read the synopsis until right before I started it.
But the book with the interesting title didn't disappoint! This is basically about Aria, who lives in a virtual world and gets kicked out, and Peregrine (Perry), who is a Savage living in the Death Shop (a.k.a. the outside world). They meet, go on a search together, adventure et cetera, et cetera.
Okay, so first I have to say, pretty prose! Rossi really has a nicely flowing writing style. The prose is pretty and poetic, but not in a heavy way. Instead, it is light and very readable.
Then, the overall concept. Although I loved the idea of a virtual world in which humans live with their bodies somewhere safe, the novel lacked some world building. It's never really clear how everything has come to be the way it is. I'm not someone who needs a lot of world building to get into a book, so I didn't really mind, but I can definitely see why it would annoy others. There was one thing that did annoy me: the freakin' Aether storms! It was never explained and we were apparently just supposed to go with it. Now, I now what Aether is in general concept, but it didn't seem to be like that, what with flards in the air and such. The Dutch edition of "Under The Never Sky" says they are electricity storms. I guess that's all the explanation we're going to get.
What I really liked is the way Rossi handles the senses. In Under The Never Sky, Savages sometimes have extraordinary senses, like hear good, see good, etc. But it was extremely awkward when (view spoiler)[Perry could smell Aria was on her period. That's so awkward that I can't even. (hide spoiler)].
The characters were well done, too. I never disliked Aria. I didn't love her, but she was certainly enjoyable to read and she shows iniative! Perry was nice too, never controlling and always sweet. And Roar. Oh, Roar. He was the lighter tone, flirting and joking and very, very loveable.
So, for some reason this sounds quite negative, but I did love this book. I mean, it's not like I give out four star ratings for free!